Unwanted Kurt Baker sees future in sevens

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 01/11/2012
Kurt Baker
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
DETERMINED: Kurt Baker scored three tries for Taranaki in their 59-18 demolition of Manawatu to retain the Ranfurly Shield.

Relevant offers

Rugby

Uini Atonio to make Six Nations debut for France Lavinia Gould back in NZ women's sevens mix after serving doping ban Dylan Hartley seeing psychologist for 'red mist moments' Tevita Li discharged without conviction for drink driving offence Steffon Armitage, Xavier Chiocci arrested in Toulon Six Taranaki players rewarded with spot in Chiefs development side From sixes to sevens, Waikato's Dylan Collier powers into NZ squad Scotland can unite as band of brothers - coach Warwick Lahmert named in England Wellington sevens squad Hectic off-season for All Black Liam Messam with several balls in the air

Discarded Super Rugby player Kurt Baker was remaining upbeat about his playing future yesterday.

Not wanted by Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph after two years with the franchise, Baker also failed to be picked up in this week's draft, despite a more than reasonable national provincial championship that netted him seven tries.

"I sort of knew I wasn't going to get one, so it's not too bad," he said.

"But I'm disappointed because I thought it was one of my better years for the ‘Naki, especially when you see some of the guys who got contracts. I have to question it, but that's life and I'll move on and she'll be right."

Baker, 24, will now switch his attention to trying to make the New Zealand sevens squad for the remaining IRB world series tournaments.

He is no stranger to sevens, having been part of Gordon Tietjens squad which won Commonwealth Games gold in India.

Talks with Tietjens had been positive and he was hopeful his experience would hold him in good stead.

He had no intention of turning his back on New Zealand rugby and looking for a contract overseas.

"I really enjoy sevens and it's heading up as a sport, so that could me me for the next year or two," he said.

"I've talked to Coops [Taranaki coach Colin Cooper] about it and I'm pretty keen to stay and make amends for the last couple of years when I think we should have done better."

Baker acknowledged he still had a lot to work on with his game, saying he realised he "was far from perfect" but he would still have liked the chance to work on those areas in a Super Rugby environment.

Taranaki will be represented by a record 15 players in next year's Super Rugby competition.

While Baker joins Scott Waldrom on the sidelines for 2013, and Jayden Hayward has switched to the Force and will not be back for Taranaki, several players have been included in squads for the first time.

Blade Thomson and James Marshall are new to the Hurricanes, Rhys Marshall, who will join Taranaki next year, will be at the Chiefs, while Waisake Naholo, Jamison Gibson-Park and Kane Barrett have taken up contracts at the Blues.

Skipper Craig Clarke will lead the Chiefs again, Andre Taylor, Beauden Barrett, Jason Eaton, James Broadhurst and Chris Smylie return to the Hurricanes, Andrew Hore takes over the captaincy at the Highlanders and will be joined by Chris King and Jarrad Hoeata.

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content